Coming Soon from Starry Eyed Press: “The Fallen Shall Rise”

fallen

Promotional image for “The Fallen Shall Rise” by James Pyles

If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi.

This is a novella that was accepted for publication by Starry Eyed Press that I’m now able to talk about in more detail.

The tale takes place in a shared universe called the 224-Verse. My story “The Fallen Shall Rise” is set against a wider backdrop of galactic political intrigue and presents the mystery of why a civilization fell thousands of years ago.

An interview about my story conducted by the publishers will be forthcoming. In the meantime, here’s a small excerpt:

Lieutenant Kekijek’s thighs burned from crouching behind the bulkhead fragment for so long. The air smelled of stale sweat and iron filings.

She finished giving her squad orders over her holo. Kek watched them deploy on the display as they crept toward their targets in the shattered hulk. It was the remains of a Kaamus troop transport that had crashed on Satugan two months ago.

Kaamus forces had been using it as a makeshift command base while they raided the local villages. Kekijek’s squad along with dozens of others in the battalion had been driving the enemy back across their lines for over a week. This was one of their last strongholds.

Kekijek held her plasma rifle upright, butt braced on the uneven and scarred decking while concentrating on the holo. Not meaning to, she was muttering as she watched the progression. She had a firm lock on her troops and tactical algorithms predicted the most likely location of their targets.

Moed had circled to the right of the ship’s galley. He made it behind a pair of Kaamus rebels who thought they were observing from the high ground of a cargo lift cage. The display lit up her Corporeal for a few moments and then twin enemy targets went dark.

“Two down, Lieutenant.”

“Stay sharp, Moed.”

“Always.”

He was a little cocky, which worried her, but he was her best sharpshooter. Moed had become her right arm since Sergeant Grenelli bought it three days ago in an ambush.

Tresian announced her kill just a few moments later.

There should have been seven or eight enemy targets in this section of the ruined ship. N’kro got one, Benois two, Tors and Zuc one each. Was there a sleeper the tac-comm didn’t pick up?

Her intruder alarm went off almost too late as Kekijek ducked and rolled down a ramp to her left. The last Kaamus soldier had been sheltered by part a half-melted generator. She made a rookie mistake not checking an obvious place of concealment behind her.

Her armor’s right scapula section went hot setting off a holo alert. There was no pain, so the shot hadn’t penetrated. She raised her rifle and fired. The beam missed as her opponent flattened, coils of heavy transfer conduit shielding him.

She took his former position behind the generator, boot soles gripping slick flooring. He’d guess where she was in seconds. Gravel shifted to her right. They both fired. He vanished in the flash.

Kekijek blinked to clear her vision. The goggles almost hadn’t darkened fast enough to save her from blindness. Then she nearly wailed in sudden agony.

More to follow.

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